Third Planet is like an overlooked superhero that his devoted clients might stumble upon while digging through his vast collection of comics. From the start 46 years ago this month, the Kirby District comic book and collectibles retailer has had to fight its way against arch enemies – a company that wasn’t everything fully ready to embrace the geek culture and the city’s unpredictable boom or bust economy.
As the state’s oldest private comic book store, Third Planet did not stay in business because of imaginary superpowers. It’s in tune with what his “Planeteers” are looking for, whether it’s the latest issue of a comic book or a vintage print from decades ago. The store’s commitment to collectibles is historic, with an accumulation of models, toys, trading cards, T-shirts, movies, posters, role-playing games and action figures making the show. envy of surfers on E-bay everywhere. On a recent visit, we overheard two knowledgeable and friendly shop staff discussing the collectable value of a Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figure (yes, it’s real and spectacular). From RBGs to RPGs, Third Planet takes the pulse of the latest trends in comic book shops.
Adding to its lore as an underdog superhero, Third Planet even has its own arch-nemesis Lex Luthor at the nearby Crowne Plaza River Oaks hotel. A widely-reported dispute between the store and the impending hotel took on mythical battle status when Third Planet filed a lawsuit – like a viral comic book – against the hotel’s business ownership this year. . He alleges damage to the store, including damage to the roof from fire extinguishers and other items dropped there by unruly and uncontrolled hotel customers. That battle aside, in the Houston CBU (ahem, “Comic Book Universe”), Third Planet’s blue cape bravely waves for those who turn to her for help.